Writing, Editing and Proofreading Job Vacancy in Kenya (Remote) - United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Position Title: Writing, editing and proofreading services

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency that expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. It is the lead United Nations agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Purpose of Assignment:

In East and Southern Africa (ESA), UNFPA works to improve the lives of women and young people in 23 countries in the region. UNFPA focuses on impacting the lives of women and young people by empowering them; the agency seeks to ensure that they enjoy universal access to reproductive health and realise their reproductive rights – including in humanitarian crises. UNFPA places gender equality and human rights at the heart of this.

The UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) seeks national and international  consultants to provide writing, copyediting and proofreading services for a high volume of work to be completed by 31 May 2024.

The national and international consultants will report directly to the Regional Communications Advisor, with the Media Specialist providing technical guidance.

The national and international consultants will work off site and be available for meetings, if required.

Scope of work:

The selected national and international consultants will work under the direction of the Regional Communications Advisor to write, edit and/or proofread English language documents, ensuring high quality content for publication purposes, in line with the following:


  • Gathering information on project-specific areas related to UNFPA’s work
  • Writing drafts, editing and proofreading the drafts
  • Checking for conceptual or grammatical errors in drafts
  • Demonstrating excellent writing ability
  • Revising drafts as needed
  • Adhering to deadlines
  • Coordinating deliverables with UNFPA project staff

Basic copyediting

  • Ensure consistency of editorial style
  • Enter editorial changes to text and tables electronically using track changes
  • Check grammar (verb–subject agreement, dangling participles, incorrect or unclear use of pronouns, etc.) and punctuation for correctness and consistency
  • Check spelling for correctness, conformity to the UN Editorial Manual, and consistency
  • Eliminate jargon, wordiness and inappropriate abbreviations
  • Check references, cross-referencing, titles, names, captions, organizations, event titles, etc.
  • Propose editorial changes in documents for greater clarity or impact
  • Check and add web links as appropriate
  • Ensure consistency in brand style
  • Check for proper sequencing (such as alphabetical order) in lists and other displayed material
  • Prepare a list of proposed changes to figures or enter changes manually on a printed copy and scan the latter
  • Eliminate abbreviations as far as possible and ensure that essential abbreviations are spelled out at the first mention
  • Delete excessive italic, boldface, and quotation marks
  • Check spelling and presentation of Member States’ names in accordance with the official list of Member State names
  • Check proper names (for cities, international conventions, conferences, nongovernmental organizations, named individuals, etc.)
  • Edit chapter titles, sections, subsections, lists and table, figure and text box captions for brevity, consistency and parallel construction, and check numbering
  • Ensure that UN referencing style has been used for reference lists and bibliographies, and that the information for each reference is complete
  • Check that the titles of references cited correspond to the subject matter in the text at the point of citation
  • Check that any tables, figures, text boxes, annexes, and web annexes are correctly cited in the text
  • Check for and eliminate or query discriminatory language
  • Edit or prepare a table of contents
  • Prepare instructions for the graphic designer, if needed
  • Revise the material to take account of comments of reviewers.

Substantive editing

Perform all the tasks for a light edit, in addition to the following:

  • Rewrite text where necessary to improve flow
  • Change text and headings to achieve parallel structures
  • Ensure consistent style and tone
  • Ensure previews and summaries reflect content
  • Flag unclear or incorrect statements
  • Monitor the overall structure for logical flow and balance and advise/consult on how to rectify if necessary
  • Rewrite, reorganise, or shorten the text to improve logical structure or argument and make communication more effective
  • Draft new text as needed
  • Eliminate unnecessary and repeated material
  • Make suggestions on layout, as appropriate
  • Revise the material to take account of comments of reviewers and additional material supplied by the author(s).


  • Ensure consistency of written and visual content in line with the UN online editorial manual as a style guide
  • Review text files and page proofs and correct typographical or formatting errors
  • Ensure that page numbers, chart labels and captions are error-free
  • Ensure that changes made at the proof stage are accurately made by the designer.

Duration and working schedule

The national and international consultants will be pre-vetted and contacted as and when documents reach the writing, editing and proofreading stages. The contract will start on 1 June 2023 and end on 31 May 2024. The consultants will be paid based on the number of days completed.

Place where services are to be delivered:

The concluded work is to be submitted electronically to the ESARO office through the Regional Communications Advisor.

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered:

The selected national and international consultants will be expected to deliver their work electronically by the agreed due date.

Monitoring and progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:

The selected national and international consultants will be required to provide regular updates via email to monitor adherence to tight production schedules.

Supervisory arrangements:

The selected national and international consultants will work under the supervision of the Regional Communications Advisor and/or Media Specialist.

Expected travel:

The consultants will not be expected to travel.

Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements:

The selected national and international consultants must meet the following minimum criteria:



  • A Master’s degree and at least 7 years’ relevant experience as a writer and/or editor at national or international level; alternatively, a Bachelor's degree with 9 years of experience.
  • Experience editing for United Nations agencies and/or intergovernmental organizations.
  • At least 6 samples of relevant previous work submitted with application.


  • Knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights programming, particularly for adolescent girls and young women, is an advantage.
  • Experience of writing and/or editing UNFPA publications and/or communication materials. 



  • In-depth knowledge of current editorial techniques, procedures and publishing standards.
  • Excellent writing and editorial skills, and attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to work effectively and tactfully in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and multilingual environment. 
  • Ability to work under pressure and respect deadlines.
  • Excellent administrative skills, and proven ability to use Microsoft Office applications and to conduct Internet searches.


  • Some degree of specialisation in one or more of the fields of activity of UNFPA.

Languages required


Expert knowledge of English (as native language).

Note: When submitting your application, kindly indicate whether you are applying for providing all three services, or one or two services. Sample work of each service will be required.

Inputs/services to be provided by UNFPA, if applicable:

UNFPA will provide all relevant background documents to help inform the writing, editing and proofreading processes, as well as guidance for clarification purposes.

Other relevant information or special conditions, if any:

Please submit your CV,  cover letter & 6 samples of previous work undertaken to Mary Makgato (makgato@unfpa.org) and Lindsay Barnes (barnes@unfpa.org) by 14 May 2023.